The owner of a popular online retail brand once told me that his evenings were dedicated to only one pursuit; analyzing daily website data. How many visitors, what were people buying, geographic spread of visitors to the website, age demographics, profit trends across products and cities, this entrepreneur was obsessed with tracking data. How many of us in the online travel business do the same?
Big data is making big noise in the online travel business today. But big data is not just about sifting through large amounts of data. Big data is about finding those deep rooted insights coming in as a direct result of your consumer’s behavior.
Online travel generates huge amounts of data that can foretell the market tide as applied to your business. By studying the interplay between different sets of data, you can cash in on an undiscovered market opportunity or de-risk your business from slowdown or change in buying trend.
One of the first questions to ask is whether your technology platform is data friendly or rather prefers tucking away essential data out of sight and makes it fiendishly difficult to hunt even the most basic insights? If that is the case then the first thing to do is to throw out your technology platform and migrate your online travel business to a booking platform that makes data accessible to you.
Which geographies are earning me the maximum profit and why? How does the 80:20 rule fit my business, i.e. which products give me 80 % of my profits but only 20 % of my revenue? Which of my affiliates or subagents is doing the best for my business and why? Irrespective of the type of your online travel business, whether B2C or B2B or B2B2C, if your technology platform does not answer these questions daily then it is very probable that you would miss out on utilizing data to the benefit of your organization.
Only by cultivating this attitude for data can we in the online travel business truly leverage on all that big data promises. As the online retailer told me “what I do tomorrow depends on what the data tells me today“ .
Makes perfect sense in online travel, doesn’t it?
N.B.: This post was written by Kaustubh Latkar who serves as a General Manager , Business Development at Tavisca Solutions , India. You can reach Kaustubh directly at firstname.lastname@example.org